In the past 50 years, there has been a continuous demand for the best paying jobs in energy.
After all, many industries are hard to predict, but the energy sector has always been consistent.
The main difference is that companies used to focus on using coal, gas, and oil for electricity, but these days, the future of the energy sector will have a bigger focus on renewables over the next 20 to 30 years.
Best Paying Jobs in Energy: Are they in demand?
The global energy demands are expected to rise by about 30% between now and 2040, so it’s safe to say that the best-paying jobs in the energy sector will continue to be in demand.
In a 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Energy, 2022 (and onward) is expected to bring an anticipated:
- 10.1% job increase at companies connected with energy efficiency operations
- 8.1% rise in companies tied to electric power generation
- 5.5% increase in jobs throughout the fuels sector
- 4.2% job growth in the transportation, distribution, and storage sector
15 Best Paying Jobs in Energy
You can find more jobs within the energy sector that will be best suited for your skills and experience. These 15 are just a handful of jobs known to pay higher than average.
1. Petroleum Engineer
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or a related field, such as mechanical, civil, or chemical engineering.
- Average Salary: $140,000 to $210,000
This type of engineer is high in demand within the oil & gas production.
The petroleum engineer’s role is extremely important since he/she leads the drilling of new oil fields and oil extraction projects.
2. Materials Engineers
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering or in a related engineering field.
- Average Salary: $98,000 to $148,000
Materials engineers are educated with a mix of IT, mathematics, and chemistry.
They are responsible for modernizing infrastructure materials and making equipment in the energy sector more fuel-efficient.
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in geology, geoscience, geophysics, or in a related field.
- Average Salary: $80,000 to $100,000
As someone who is highly educated in the physical properties of the earth, geoscientists play an essential role in the energy sector.
They are responsible for deciding prime drilling locations and ensuring the earth is stable in time to siphon natural gas and oil.
4. Renewable Energy Consultant
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in Renewable Energy Management
- Average Salary: $66,000 to $88,000
As a renewable energy consultant, you’ll assist in providing energy solutions from small-scale renewable energy projects like solar PV systems to large-scale commercial energy-reliant complexes.
5. Nuclear Technician
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering, nuclear science, or a relevant field.
- Average Salary: $66,000 to $88,000
These technicians usually become proficient on the job at nuclear power plants.
They ensure the plants remain in a safe environment by weighing risks, monitoring equipment, and machinery performance, and conducting tests on soil, water, and air to keep radiation levels low.
6. Environmental technicians
- Requirements: Associate’s degree in environmental science technology or related field.
- Average Salary: $60,000 to $80,000
As an environmental technician, your loyalty is to mother earth and to ensure the energy sector (or the company you work for) minimizes or removes pollution with day-to-day operations.
Environmental technicians are familiar with environmental regulations and laws, so they enforce them on the job as well.
7. Civil Engineers
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Mining & Energy Resources Engineering, and other relevant fields.
- Average Salary: $87,000 to $115,000
Civil engineers are essential in building new power plants.
They’re responsible for the study, design, drafting, and estimates of any kind of power project. These engineers will be key to the energy sector’s shift to renewable energy.
8. Information Systems Manager
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in computer or information science, or a related field.
- Average Salary: $150,000 to $200,000
Information systems managers are crucial to the energy industry because they upgrade, improve and maintain the technology side of the industry.
They will also be the experts who will assist in the modernization of power plants and energy systems.
9. Power Plant Operator
- Requirements: Electrician or engineering field, plus professional certification and licensure requirements
- Average salary: $86,000 to $107,000
A power plant operator often learned the tasks on the job, which means he/she has been in the energy sector for years.
The role of power plant operators is to ensure that the energy is flowing continuously by being on top of equipment checks and performing preventative care of the entire power plant operations.
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10. Chemical Engineer
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field
- Average Salary: $120,000 to $180,000
This sector deals with different kinds of materials and chemicals, which is why chemical engineers are one of the best paying jobs in energy industry.
They test new methods, solve oil-, gas- and fuel-related problems, and help in the shift towards renewable energy.
11. Atmospheric Scientist
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in meteorology or related physical science.
- Average Salary: $95,000 to $150,000
This profession is in high demand in the renewable energy sector, specifically in wind energy.
They are trained in understanding weather patterns, which is needed in making predictions that could improve the harvesting of wind energy.
12) Service Unit Operator
- Requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent combined with extensive on-the-job training
- Average Salary: $40,000 to $80,000
In the oil, gas, and mining industries, a service unit operator job is expected to be in demand until 2030.
These operators are responsible for operating equipment that increase oil flow and remove stuck objects from the wells.
Because the conditions for the job are somewhat dangerous due to the heavy equipment, machinery and environment they work in, companies often hire extremely experienced operators.
13. Industrial machinery mechanic
- Requirements: GED, on-the-job training, and extensive knowledge of electricity, electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics.
- Average Salary: $42,000 to $85,000
Industrial machinery mechanics have an evergreen job outlook up to 2030.
These highly-skilled workers are responsible for keeping the machinery and other industrial equipment within power plants in good working condition.
As such, they regularly conduct maintenance on equipment and perform repairs when they break down.
14. Solar Installers
- Requirements: high school diploma and specialized solar installation training.
- Average Salary: $35,000 to $76,000
Solar PV system installer jobs will continue to have an impressive demand through 2030, especially since people and companies are making a conscious switch from fossil fuels and other gases to solar energy.
Unlike other professions on this list, solar installers do not require a college degree. But once they train how to install solar panels, they can work in transforming the roofs of buildings and residential homes have the ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity.
15. Wind Turbine Installers
- Requirements: high school degree, GED, or vocational training in wind turbine installation
- Average Salary: $47,000 to $68,000
The job outlook of wind-turbine installers will remain high until 2030, so expect job stability if you land a job in this career.
Wind turbine installers collect data for research, create reports, and work on wind turbine equipment, repairing, cleaning, modifying, and conducting preventative tasks.
Education Pathway for the Best Paying Jobs in Energy
If you’re interested in the best-paying jobs in energy, oil & gas production, power generation, or other energy industry sectors, there are numerous educational pathways you can choose from.
Here are just the most common ones:
- Math and Engineering – Algebra, geometry, calculus, engineering, and other mathematical disciplines can help solve real-world problems in the energy sector.
- Sciences – Background in chemistry, Physics, Biology, and other sciences are the heart of the energy sector. These are the professionals who are responsible for deciding on materials, equipment, and processes involved in the energy sector.
- Information Technology – Even the energy sector undergoes modernization, which is why many IT-educated professionals are needed in the industry.
- Business – Management and leadership positions usually require a Master’s degree in any business-related course. The cool thing about managers and high-level executives is that they can jump from one industry to the next, so even if you don’t have a lot of experience in the energy sector, you potentially can lead here if your qualifications fit the bill.
As you can imagine, the list of best paying jobs in energy (listed above) doesn’t encompass the entire sector.
There are plenty more energy jobs to explore, but if you’re not interested in embarking on a career within this industry, check out these posts that tackle jobs that pay 20 an hour and jobs that pay 15 an hour.